• Daily Life,  Pandemic,  Spring,  Summer

    How to Recover From the Complete Mess of the Past Eight Months Now That It’s June

    Go outside. Leave your house. Just to practice leaving it, really. To build up your confidence with leaving the house again. It’s going to take some time. Consider the mornings, when there’s not many people. Consider a regular practice of nice evening post-dinner constitutionals in the light. It’s the end of spring and hiking season is here! Plan a hiking or walking trip, even if it’s raining a bit. Maybe even if it’s pouring! Walk through the park and marvel at all of the green. Meet a friend for a socially-distanced coffee as you are almost fully-vaccinated but not quite. This month you’re going to have the first swim of…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Pandemic,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Thoughts

    My Up and Down (Will it? Won’t it?) Vaccination Week

    I have mentioned in what feels like every recent posts that the vaccination roll-out in Europe is sloooooow. In the Czech Republic up until now, it really felt like it could not be worse. Not even did it take until March before I actually heard of people I know getting vaccinated (then, just doctors or the elderly), there were reports left and right about how difficult it was for foreigners to get vaccinated. Whether it was that their foreign-sounding name didn’t fit into the system, or their private health insurance (not the public state insurance that Czechs use) was not an option when registering. I spent March and April in…

  • Daily Life,  Pandemic,  Spring,  Thoughts

    How I Come Alive Again

    Hello friends, happy May wishes. Although writing here hasn’t been a priority here lately, you know I’ll always be coming back ’round to this space. We last talked a month ago right after Easter. All month long I was calling April “Second March” or “The Marchiest April Ever” which is nooooot a compliment. March is typically my least favorite month and now I probably will always think about it as “Corona month” – the month when it all started. This end of winter and spring period was really, really tough, especially most of March and April. I had not been in a poorer condition than in the past ten years,…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Easter,  Recipe,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Quiet Days & My First Easter Lamb Cake {Recipe}

    Happy spring, I hope everyone’s made it through the other side of winter okay! We just had Daylight Savings Time (worth every minute of evening light, in my opinion) so the warmer days and lighter nights have made everything so much better. Sometimes I think I could be a winter person, finding the season more pleasant with each passing year. Then the first warmer, light days of the year come and it’s like, nah. It was another weird March. The virus is still raging around us here in Czechland, and in fact, the first half of the month, we were bound to our own municipalities. Fortunately just in time for…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Thoughts

    Why We’re Reading (Or Not) During the Pandemic

    Have your reading habits changed over the past year? I’ve heard that many people have been reading less than ever before, as this interesting Refinery 29 article states. Some people seem to find it hard to concentrate. As this isn’t my case, I wondered why that would be, and the article mentions that since last March, people’s thoughts seem to drift towards our current situation and what’s in the news or the lack of social contact we’ve been having. This leads to checking the news, doom-scrolling Twitter or checking up on friends online instead of picking up our books, perhaps. I know a big reader who has been playing Animal…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Film,  Language Learning,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    My Winter Joys, Goals, & Other Things

    How’s that for a title after that last post? Thank you for your nice words and reaching out; I’m feeling a bit better these days. The photo taken above was at our annual half-term cafe day at the mid-point of the school year, this time taking place on a bench in my favorite square. I like this photo because even though I wasn’t doing well, I wasn’t going to not participate in this annual tradition – you’d have to drag me away. It seems somehow hopeful. Typically I really like January (and this one has been lovely!), and even though it hasn’t been easy, I can’t but help still feeling…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Winter,  Yearly Recap

    Year of Life & Travels: 2020

    We made it! And yes, even 2020 is going to get a recap post! I love these sorts of posts and catching up with what people were up to this year, so here we are. They’re also really wonderful to look back on and see the year as a whole. I know a lot of people choose a word of the year before the year even gets going, but as I do my year-end reflections on the last few days remaining, the word to define the year that was always comes to me. This year would be adapt, of course. And now, a run-down of the year that was… Ah,…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    A Time of Simple Holidays

    Well, it’s hard to write anything without a computer, isn’t it? Fortunately I feel like I have an office again, a little home again, and my brain can sort of organize itself properly. (Note: Try to avoid ever having to purchase a new computer in mid-December. It is not the time.) Here we are in December, finally at the tail end of 2020. Funny about this year. As I’ve now been quite settled in České Budějovice for nearly eight years and counting, there isn’t a lot of expat stuff or cultural differences that I feel compelled to write about. Most of it is no longer so novel. Add to that…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Grieving/Healing

    Perhaps it’s yesterday’s full moon bringing all of these ripe feelings to the surface, but the turn towards Advent time hasn’t been an easy one this year – an odd, uncomfortable feeling towards something that has always felt warm, comforting and joyful. I am still grieving and feeling so many heavy things, mostly a bit different of what I choose to show on the outside, but today, the first of December, I can feel the healing begin. I woke up and tiptoed to the kitchen where I saw a marvelous pink and purple sunrise, welcoming in this new month. As I went out with the dog, the sky was doing…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Thoughts

    October, Lately

    This October – different from all other Octobers. The last of the warm early autumn weather has faded away and it definitely feels like fall now. I caught a bit of a nostalgia wave this week, as I am wont to do in the autumn. Eleven years ago I was visiting one of my best friends in Berlin for two weeks, having the time of my life. Ten years ago was another one of the best Octobers on record with epic festivals, parties, being one of maybe twenty-five people to see one of my favorite bands play Sunset Tavern in Ballard, Seattle. Eight years ago, living the Scottish life as…